13 Nov Prescription sedatives
Sedatives are drugs that depress the central nervous system and produce mental or physical relaxation. You may have heard of tranquilizers, those are a type of sedative. Sedatives are also referred to as “downers” whereas stimulants (the next sub post) are referred to as “uppers”.
Now that you know what a sedative does to a person’s nervous system, can you imagine a couple ways or reasons why doctors would use them? Here are a few examples:
-In surgery to sedate people (these medications impair nerve stimulation).
-to treat people for insomnia (a condition where they can’t sleep).
-to treat people with anxiety (to calm them down).
DID YOU KNOW? The most widely known prescription sedatives are Ambien and Seconal.
One of the reasons you are reading about them here is because sedatives are becoming increasingly abused, especially among teens. Some teens feel a lot of stress and pressure and thus will seek out these medications to manage their anxiety. But instead of going to a doctor, they will seek them out from friends and dealers, leading quickly to the pathway of abuse and addiction. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, see a doctor and get a proper understanding of what is causing your stress as well as healthy ways to manage it (which may or may not include medication). Abusing prescription meds that are not prescribed for you is dangerous and can lead to addiction. (To read more about anxiety and beating anxiety please read those posts.)
Illegal use of sedatives (it’s illegal to use them if you have not been prescribed them) is not only an unhealthy method of anxiety management, it is a dangerous one: they are highly addictive and sedative withdrawal can cause seizures and tremors that can be fatal. Overdoses of sedatives can be deadly, especially when taken with alcohol. Use of sedatives can cause side effects such as loss of body coordination, anxiety, confusion, lightheadedness, nightmares and even vertigo.
In the character dialogue at the beginning of this post, drugs are being offered to help students study. Drugs are also offered to help students manage anxiety from pressures at school. Everyone has a choice to take these drugs or not. If someone chooses to take those drugs, they are seriously messing with their central nervous system (that includes your brain!). Healthier alternatives than taking illegal drugs exist for managing stress and anxiety.
Click here to learn ways to reduce your stress in the Stress Reduction Post.
Click here for some tips for basic back to school ideas.
Those suggestion posts above contain many, many examples of how you can manage the school work and the stress related to it—both the cognitive and the emotional side of things! And guess what? Illegal use of drugs and medications are NOT part of that plan.
As you read through the posts throughout the Drugs and Alcohol section, you will see a strong link exists between substance abuse and mental health problems. Part of this link is that many people are not able to manage their emotions, especially stress and anxiety, so they turn to other ways to deal— like a dealer. This is not a good choice.
What do you think might be a substitute for drugs when feeling anxious? How do you calm or manage stress/anxiety?
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